The National – Monday, January 31, 2011
By AGNES FIFI UKI
AFTER more than 20 years, two warring tribes in the Mul Buyer district in Western Highlands have come together to reconcile.
Last Thursday, council president of Muklamp local level government and the provincial chairman of education information and technology William Noki proposed the idea of an elementary school to the Kumdi Kopies and the Wunuies in the Murik area of Mul Buyer as a token of reconciliation.
Noki, from the Kopi tribe, said the tribes had been enemies for 26 years and the government services never reached their area because of the tribal differences.
He said more than 8,000 people there had been living in isolation, without basic services like schools, health and proper road infrastructure.
He appealed to the community to donate their land to build proper roads and an elementary school to benefit more than five clans living there.
Noki said the road would be built from Papuna to Murik linking Mul Buyer with Dei district.
Councillors and young community leaders agreed to give in their land without payments for construction of the new elementary school and road.
Former councillor of the Wunuie tribe, Wani Ropka, thanked the provincial government and Noki for taking the initiative to deliver such services.
He said this was the first of its kind for the two enemy tribes to come together to reach an agreement to receive government services in their community.
Ropka appealed to the community to attend church and change their attitudes and live in peace and harmony to tap into the changes that were taking place.
Noki said under the leadership of Governor Tom Olga and the provincial government policy, they would focus on schools, law and order and road infrastructure.
He said the provincial government would also try to subsidise some of the school fees for students this year and fund more elementary schools.